90 Painted Chairs Program Raises Awareness, Funds for Pittsburgh Artists

Donations Spur Launch of GPAC’s Teaching Artist Initiative

PITTSBURGH – VisitPITTSBURGH’s 90 Painted Chairs Program online “chair-ity” auction raised $17,256 for the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s (GPAC) Teaching Artist Initiative.

An offshoot of VisitPITTSBURGH’s award-winning Pull Up a Chair. You are Welcomed Here. national marketing campaign, the 90 Painted Chairs program invited local artists to paint parking chairs for a “chair-ity.” More than 90 chairs were available for auction, which launched in late February, and all proceeds will benefit the GPAC’s newest professional network.

“First and foremost, thank you to all the auction supporters – the bidding was fierce right up to the last minute,” VisitPITTSBURGH Chief Marketing Officer Tom Loftus said. “The arts and culture community is a point of pride for the City of Pittsburgh, and we are thrilled to present the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council with this donation for its Teaching Artist Initiative.

“For those who secured a chair – congratulations! You now own a piece of priceless Pittsburgh art. And, to the local artists who embraced the 90 Painted Chairs Program from day one – thank you! You creatively displayed Pittsburgh’s welcoming message, and we are lucky to have you as Pittsburgh ambassadors.”

The top two bids generated a combined $1,200. Pittsburgh artist Johno Prascak’s Heart chair was the top earner, with a winning bid of $675, while Linda Loyer’s depiction of Andy Warhol closed with a $525 bid.

The Teaching Artist Initiative is a peer network where teaching artists connect for networking, professional development and peer-to-peer learning. The Arts Council developed the initiative in response to a need from local teaching artists who have historically had fewer opportunities to connect as a group of working professionals than others in the education or arts sectors. With teaching listed as the top source of income for Pittsburgh artists, GPAC hopes the initiative will fill this gap in learning with education and professional development.

“Thanks to the generosity of VisitPITTSBURGH and the more than 200 people who bid on a chair, the Arts Council can successfully launch the Teaching Artist Initiative, which is hosting its kick-off event virtually on June 10,” Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council CEO Mitch Swain said. “We also plan to host a Teaching Artist Symposium in Spring of 2021, bringing regional experts and resources to our community.”

The June event is co-hosted by the Arts Council, artist Maritza Mosquera and Mary Brenholts from Pittsburgh Center for Arts & Media. To register for the Zoom Webinar, please visit www.pittsburghartscouncil.org/events.

Teaching artists and arts educators interested in learning more about the Teaching Artist Initiative can sign up for updates at PittsburghArtsCouncil.org.

As the official tourism promotion agency for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, VisitPITTSBURGH is dedicated to generating conventions, trade show and leisure travel business for the Pittsburgh region.